The winner of the Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award (DBUAA) Cape Town 2012 is Mothers Unite from Lavender Hill. Chosen by an independent jury from a pool of 254 entries and a shortlist of eight finalists, the project will receive a prize of R750 000.
Improved urban environments
The winning project – one that most benefitted local residents through an improved urban environment – was founded in 2007 in a mother’s home. Mothers Unite provides a safe haven from the gangsterism, drugs and violence that are part and parcel of street and home life in the area.
Three afternoons a week, in an infrastructure village in the grounds of the City’s Seawinds Multi-purpose Hall, 120 children between the ages of three and 15 are provided with alternatives such as storytelling, computer literacy, food garden training, art therapy, sports and play. Built with donated shipping containers, the village is made up of a library, kitchen, office, sheltered area, playground and food garden. The Mothers Unite project addresses the family unit and encourages family participation and a shared commitment to community development, providing a support base for the family and a safe place for children to play, explore and develop.
Celebrating creative solutions
The Urban Age Award celebrates creative solutions to the problems and opportunities facing urban dwellers. It seeks to encourage citizens and all urban stakeholders to take a proactive role in creating shared responsibility for the cities of the 21st century – mankind’s first truly ‘urban age’.
The award, which comes during a tough economic crisis, serves not only as welcome funding for Mothers Unite but also as widespread recognition for what they have already achieved against great odds.
They plan to obtain further educational resources for after-school programmes, revamp the playground, add to their toy and book libraries and purchase better kitchen equipment and nutritional ingredients for the children’s meals. They would like to buy a vehicle to overcome their biggest operational obstacle and be able to offer a small stipend to volunteers who have worked tirelessly. Prize money will also allow the organisation to purchase stationery and equipment for Emergency First Aid Response courses, and contribute to 160 computer literacy courses and 80 home garden start-ups to broaden their great work in Lavender Hill.
In addition, a special announcement was made at the DBUA Award ceremony: theCape Townjury unanimously recommended the establishment of an offshoot legacy project to offer structured information, knowledge and communications support to all 254 projects that entered the 2012 Award.
The Deutsche Bank Urban Age Legacy Project will operate under two main themes: Community place-making and identity (initiatives that use space to achieve an improved economic, social and physical environment) and Local development partnerships (initiatives that connect different projects with the public authorities to achieve greater impact).
The network will ensure that the city as a whole benefits from all the exciting initiatives and ideas that came to light during the award process. The Deutsche Bank Urban Age Legacy Project will be funded with seed money from Deutsche Bank SouthAfricaand Deutsche Bank’s Alfred Herrhausen Society to encourage other companies to join this initiative.
Dr. Josef Ackermann, CEO of Deutsche Bank said: “These projects are South African ambassadors of good ideas and better solutions, not just for Cape Town but for all cities in the world. They are ambassadors of hope.”